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Filed under: Duke’s Two Big Question Marks

Well, one at least. Maybe.

High School Basketball: Powerade Jam Fest
Mar 27, 2023; Houston, TX, USA; McDonald’s All American East forward Sean Stewart (12) dunks the ball during the Powerade Jam Fest at Delmar Athletic Complex.
Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports has a list of ten teams that they think can win the national championship this year and here they are:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Duke
  • Houston
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Miami
  • Michigan State
  • Purdue

Obviously we have a preference here so let’s look at what they say about Duke.

The skinny: From a pure talent standpoint, there may not be a better team. However, how will Jon Scheyer fit these pieces together will be the question. Kyle Filipowski is returning as a true National Player of the Year candidate. They also return one of the best backcourts in the league with Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor. The addition of On3’s No. 2 recruiting class in 2023 gives the Blue Devils some talented bench depth.

The two questions at hand are, can Tyrese Proctor string together a full season? And will no rim protection matter?

Okay, first, why would anyone doubt Proctor can string together a full season? Based on what? As a freshman he came in late and took some time to get up to speed but did he? Yes, he did. There’s no reason to think he can’t continue, is there?

As for the second question...we’re not sure about that. We’ll have to get a better idea of where Christian Reeves is, but there’s no doubt he’s more physically mature. And he’s not just thicker, he’s taller.

Even if not, we’ve also been impressed with what we’ve seen from freshman Sean Stewart and it won’t surprise us if he carves an early niche defensively. He’s not going to be Mark Williams or Dereck Lively, but he’s got potential.

But here’s the other thing: Duke has the potential to generate insane defensive pressure. If you can put enough pressure on the perimeter and have trouble just moving the ball, shot blocking is not as important as it might be.